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15 dead, thousands displaced as Cyclone Gombe wrecks Mozambique

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Latest report from Mozambique says there have been 100,000 displaced persons and 15 casualties from recent flood at Cyclone Gombe, areas of northern and central Mozambique, officials said Monday.

According to official figures, about 12,000 houses were totally destroyed while 11,000 were seriously damaged.

The dead include five members of the same family in the Angoche coastal area of Nampula province, Governor Mety Gondola said. The number of injured is now at least 50, the prime minister’s office announced.

Gombe is the most recent of a series of cyclones that have hit southern Africa so far this year.

Tropical cyclone is also called typhoon or hurricane, it is an intense circular storm that originates over warm tropical oceans and is characterized by low atmospheric pressure, high winds, and heavy rain.

Cyclone draw energy from the sea surface and maintaines its strength as long as it remains over warm water, a tropical cyclone generates winds that exceed 119 km (74 miles) per hour. In extreme cases winds may exceed 240 km (150 miles) per hour, and gusts may surpass 320 km (200 miles) per hour.

In August 2019, Mozambique witnessed its first cyclone called “Cyclone Idai and Kenneth”, According to UNICEF, Death toll from the hurricane was 603 while 1,641 were injured. It The disaster affected Zambézia, Sofala, Manica, Tete and Inhambane provinces (50 districts in total) with Houses destroyed: 223,947 houses destroyed and 160,927 persons displaced.

Some coastal districts in Nampula province remained isolated on Monday, without power, water and communication.

In terms of public infrastructure affected, two bridges have been destroyed, 16 health units and 113 schools have been reported damaged. More than 140 power lines have been knocked down, according to official figures.

On the historic island of Ilha de Moçambique, six people died and the cyclone toppled several trees that were centuries old. Due to widespread flooding, many residents are desperate and the local government is using boats to provide relief as it is not possible to reach people on foot or by car, Ilha district administrator Momade Ali, told state television TVM.

“The situation is more dramatic because some spaces that we had already prepared as reception centers have also been affected,” he said. “There are families hosting about 40 to 50 people in their homes,” he added.

Cyclone Gombe weakened over the weekend but continued to batter northern and central Mozambique with rain and strong winds. Virtually all rivers in the area have reached alert levels and many roads have become impassable.

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Somali forces, local vigilantes, recapture strategic town from Al-Shabaab terrorists

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The Somali National Army (SNA), alongside local vigilantes popularly called Mo’awisley, on Monday, recaptured the strategic city of Adan Yabaal from the al-Shabaab terrorist group, the military said in a bulletin on Tuesday.

According to the statement, the town located near the border between Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions that comprise Hirshabelle State, which is about 220 kilometres north of the capital Mogadishu, is one of the five federal member states of the Federal Government of Somalia, and had been a strategic location held by the al-Qaeda-sponsored extremist group.

The SNA said in the bulletin that it met no resistance from the al-Shabaab fighters who left the town without posing resistance on getting information about the approach of the federal troops.

Al-Shabaab have lost most of the towns and settlements in Hirshabelle State, both Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions, after the SNA and Mo’awisley vigilantes waged offensive wars.

“Mo’awisley vigilantes, who are mainly composed of nomadic herders, took up arms and rebelled against the jihadists’ confiscation of their livestock and illegal tax collection known as zakawaat.

“Over the last couple of weeks, the government forces and the vigilantes have been gradually inching towards the town which they seized on Monday. The town had been under the full control of al-Shabaab for over a decade,” the bulletin said.

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Tanzania President, Samia Hassan, cancels country’s Independence Day celebrations: Here’s why

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Tanzania’s President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, has cancelled the country’s Independence Day celebrations which was scheduled for Friday, December 9, and has rather directed that the funds that would have been sunk into the celebration should be used to build dormitories for children with special needs.

The organisers of Tanzania’s 61st Independence Day celebrations had presented a budget of $445,000 to the government but the President vehemently opposed the budget and ordered that the money should be used to build dormitories in primary schools around the country.

However, Tanzania’s Minister of State, George Simbachawene, said the money had been disbursed, alluding that the East African country will celebrate Independence Day by having public dialogues on development marked with pomp and state banquets.

This is not the first time Tanzania has cancelled the celebrations.

In 2015, late President John Magufuli cancelled the celebrations and diverted funds towards the building of a road in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.

In 2020, he also cancelled the celebrations and directed that the budget earmarked for it should be used to buy medical facilities.

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